“The decisive moment of a dance ‘extension’ is a wondrous sight but it’s over in an instant,” says Melbourne-based photographer Niv Novak. “What if this instant in time could be extended or elongated?”
Novak’s new work, extension features some of Australia’s leading dancers in ballet, contemporary and break dance, shot in ultra-slow motion. The resulting video extends spectacular, fast-moving moments of dance into sequences entirely unlike those able to be seen with the naked eye.
Australian Ballet Principal Artist Chengwu Guo is one of the dancers who volunteered their time for the project.
He said: “High-speed dance motion can be missed with a blink of an eye. This is the beauty of extension – every detail of even the fastest jump is suspended to be observed. It’s mesmerising.”
Novak shot video at 1000 frames per second, requiring extremely bright, 9000w flicker-free lights. The videos were shot at a bit rate of 13GB per second, and over 50 terabytes were shot across the nine-day shoot.